Andrew Sansom is one of Texas’ leading conservationists. He is a former executive director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, executive director of the Texas Nature Conservancy, and founder of The Parks and Wildlife Foundation of Texas. For his commitment to the management and protection of natural resources, Dr. Sansom also is a past recipient of the Chevron Conservation Award, The Chuck Yeager Award from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, The Pugsley Medal from the National Park Foundation, and the Seton Award from the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. He is a Distinguished Alumnus of Texas Tech University and Austin College. And he received a PhD in Geography from Texas State University-San Marcos in 2013.
Under his leadership at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Dr. Sansom spearheaded a number of important programs, including:
- Creating the Parks and Wildlife Foundation of Texas, which funds a number of department programs through private donations.
- Opening two state-of-the-art hatcheries that also serve as research laboratories, educational centers and aquariums -- the Sea Center Texas in Lake Jackson and the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens.
- Creating new urban fish and wildlife programs designed to promote awareness of conservation issues in large urban areas where most Texans live. These include KIDFISH, Becoming an Outdoors Woman, Outdoor Kids, and the Buffalo Soldiers Program.
- Reducing the agency's dependence on general tax revenues and slashing the backlog of deferred maintenance in the Texas State Parks System by eighty percent by directing the most comprehensive repair program in the Department's history.
Dr. Sansom, a native of Brazoria County, has dedicated his life to environmental conservation. He has served on the board of trustees of the Texas Historical Foundation, Bat Conservation International, KLRU Public Television in Austin, and The National Audubon Society. Sansom joined the staff of the National Recreation and Park Association in Washington, D.C. in l969. He served as environmental coordinator for the White House Conference on Youth; Special Assistant to Interior Secretary Rogers C.B. Morton; director of conservation education at the Federal Energy Administration; and deputy director of the Energy Institute at the University of Houston.
His published works have appeared in Texas Monthly, The Texas Observer, Houston City Magazine, Politics Today, Texas Highways, Texas Parks and Wildlife, and Texas Town & City. His first book, Texas Lost, was photographed by Wyman Meinzer and published in November 1995. His most recent book is Texas Past, photographed by Wyman Meinzer and published in November 1997.
Andrew Sansom now serves as Executive Director of the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment and Research Professor of Geography at Texas State University-San Marcos.